Everyone uses their school locker for the same old boring thing: storing school books. But in the '90s, a school locker was so much more. I don't know how kids today use their lockers, but when I was in high school, your locker was an important, sacred space that was worth so much more than simply being a place for you to stash your stationery between classes. Kids of the '90s used their lockers for a variety of different things, from social espionage to self imposed solitary confinement. We used them to store illicit goods (which back then were things like POGs and Tamagotchis), and as communal meeting places, and our books were ancillary to the true purpose of the metal cubbies.
High school movies and TV shows from the '90s would tell you that lockers were the main place bullies put nerds too. In reality, that wasn't so much the case — at least not at my school. There were so many more practical uses for your locker in the '90s than bullying, and if you were creative, you could turn your locker into a true reflection of your innermost soul. Before you curated yourself on social media, you curated a locker. Here are 12 things '90s kids used their school locker for.
1. Passing Notes With Friends
Of course you'd pass notes in class, but if your friend wasn't on the same class schedule as you, your lockers were how you covertly communicated throughout the day. You'd have to fold your notes into tiny origami in order to fit them through the grates in the front or in the door seams, but getting to your locker between class to open it and find notes inside was basically the best feeling in the world.
2. Sending Anonymous Notes To Crushes
Because we were creeps in the '90s, we didn't just send notes to our friends via locker mail, but also anonymous ones to our crushes.
3. A Personal Salon
If you were crafty, you'd have a small mirror attached in your locker, and then all manner or '90s beauty treatments on the shelf inside, from hairspray to hair mascara.
4. A Place To Stick Your Head When You Needed A Moment Alone
Without a screen to turn to in moments of anxiety or stress, in the '90s you'd dive head and shoulders into your locker for a moment of reprieve from whatever was stressing you out at school.
5. A Girl Power Temple
There were a lot of women to love in the '90s. Your locker could be a temple to the ancient art of girl power, featuring photos of you and your friends, the Spice Girls, and Shirley Manson cut-outs from magazines.
6. A Shrine To Leonardo DiCaprio
In the '90s your locker was also how you proclaimed love to a movie heartthrob. You'd wallpaper it with pictures of their face. Or maybe multiple heartthrobs' faces. It was your Sistine Chapel.
7. Somewhere To Keep Your Contraband Tamagotchi
You naughty thing, you! Sneaking your Tamagotchi into school when it was specifically banned by school policy. You'd hide it in the back corner of your locker in a little nest of clothes and books and nearly put your whole body inside every time you went to check on it. Such a covert operation!
8. A Wardrobe
Spare sweaters, scrunchies and clothes for after school (if you needed to change out of your uniform) made up the vast wardrobe that was your school locker in the '90s.
9. A Meeting Place
Because you couldn't just text your friends about where to hang at recess or before or after school, you all agreed in advance to meet at someone's locker. And there you'd meet, and wait until the whole team was there together, before planning a next move. Of course, if someone was a no show, you'd pop a note in their locker to let them know you'd moved on...
10. Somewhere To Hang While You Giggled At Your Crush As They Were Walking By
Being the hottest spot to hang out, in the '90s your locker was also somewhere to lean with your pals as your crush walked by so you could giggle at them. I guess kids do the same now, but don't need to wait for the walk by, and giggle over Facebook instead...
11. A Glitter Stationery Cupboard
If you wanted to be the coolest kid in your class in the '90s you just needed to fill your locker with all kinds of awesome stationary, mostly glitter related. Glitter stickers, glitter pens, everything glitter all the time.
12. A Mass Storage Facility For Lip Gloss
You needed to store your 90,000 Lip Smackers glosses somewhere, didn't you?